Consumers are more emotional than rational. They are more likely to follow their emotions while making quick purchase decisions. Consequently, in many cases, consumer behaviour does not follow the traditional purchase funnel, which overcomplicates marketers’ work. 58% of UK consumers, for example, have admitted that online ads and marketing have little or no influence on their behaviour. Since consumers have become increasingly immune to conventional marketing tactics, gamification is an alternative worth considering.
Gamification is the application of gameplay elements such as competition, rankings or point scoring to a non-gaming context. It leverages human tendencies for competition and achievement. To put it simply, activities are made game-like to motivate people to achieve certain goals or to boost performance. Despite its potential, gamification has not been widely adopted in marketing. Only 31% of UK consumers have experienced gamification before, and just 16% have experienced it more than once, although 86% of consumers who have encountered it are willing to buy a product or service from the firm whose game they enjoyed. This mismatch is a clear indication that gamification has been undervalued by marketers. To have a better picture of the positive impact of gamification on marketing campaigns, let’s have a look at these 5 benefits:
1. Gamification increases user engagement. According to a Demand Gen report on interactive content marketing, about 70% of marketers believe that interactive content increases conversion rates. If interactive content is combined with gamified marketing, conversion rates can be improved ever further. Gamified marketing provides a unique user experience as well as allows customers to feel more in control: they decide how to interact with content. As a result, they experience more fun and excitement than traditional marketing can provide.
2. Gamification builds customer loyalty. Due to the oversupply of products and services, many businesses struggle with retaining customers. One solution to this problem is gamification: not only does it help differentiate oneself in the market, but it is also an effective way of engaging customers and holding their interest. It evokes a sense of competitiveness and fun, and utilizes that to evoke customer engagement and, eventually, build loyalty. In addition, gamification can be used to provide meaningful content so that customers could recognize the value of certain products and services and keep using them.
3. Gamification improves your customer reach. Gamification improves the virality of your marketing messages, especially if they are shared on social media. If products or services are presented in a fun way, it is easier to discover them and engage with your brand. Gamified marketing is especially appealing to millenials and Gen Z-ers, who are typically more critical of and immune to conventional marketing strategies.
4. Gamification helps get user data that are compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Launching marketing campaigns that would be compliant with a strict EU policy on data protection and privacy has become a challenge for many marketers. Online games help overcome this challenge as they allow gaining user consent to process their data in a relatively effortless way. Marketers need to think of a strong incentive for someone to opt in: users need to get something valuable in exchange for their data. Marketers thus need to address the needs and interests of their target audience to access relevant data.
5. Gamification drives return of investment (ROI). In markets saturated with limitless choices, delivering a quality product or service is not enough to secure one’s market share. Product / service presentation is equally important. In this context, gamification can act as a remarkable brand differentiator. If customers feel that the brand experience they are given is unique and more exciting, they tend to recommend the brand within their social circles. Over time positive word-of-mouth converts to a significant ROI.
References: Reflect Digital, Gamification: Next level marketing? | Becky Simms, DigitalMarketing-Conference.com | Jim Chappelow, Investopedia | Brandon Harville, OptinMonster.com | Mahesh Tadepalli, GlobalDirective.com | Komo.Digital | CloudCherry.com